“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton
The Hard Hitter events honor the life of Staff Sergeant (SSG) David B. Roten Jr., who served in the United States Army as a decorated Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. After his honorable discharge in 2010, David supported the U.S. Government in austere environments. He was killed in action on November 27, 2014 in hostile territory supporting the U.S. Government. He lived and served with unwavering commitment, passion, and courage, always pushing himself beyond his limits to be the very best. The event is named after the “Hard Hitter” Award, introduced in 2006 by the leadership of Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 043 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in Baghdad, Iraq. SSG Roten was recognized and honored as ODA 043’s first annual “Hard Hitter” Awardee and was presented with the coveted and hard-earned sledgehammer, which is reflected in the Hard Hitter GORUCK patch. The “Dave Roten Hard Hitter” award will hang in Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) forever.